If you run a livery yard or riding school it will only be a matter of time before someone fails to pay you on time or at all, so what should you do?
The Livery Client
If you have fallen behind on your payments then it may be time to think about your options instead of letting it run away with you. We all know that horses are expensive and it is those unexpected expenses that catch us all out and throw a budget out of the window. Let’s look at some options:
1) Talk with the livery yard owner and consider a payment schedule to bring you back up to date, but don’t take liberties as they still have to pay bills as you do. Something to make sure is that you get a receipt for each small payment you make so there is no question of a running total.
2) Maybe consider working off some of your debt. The only thing to consider here is if you are capable and safe in doing what is expected.
3) Maybe your horse could be used in lessons. Obviously you as the owner need to be happy how it is being used but hopefully it would be by a professional instructor and suitable riders only. Also bear in mind that the owner of the riding centre needs to assess the horse and possibly add them to the riding centre licence before any such use can occur, but that is something the yard needs to check.
The Stable Owner
If you have to deal with any non-payers you can take various routes to obtain your money.
1) Prosecute the livery client. To be honest this is your last port of call and ultimately may incur extra costs for court or legal fees that you may or may not get back so bear that in mind. Obviously the court is going to want to see the contract you have with your client so make sure your terms and conditions are suitable for your business and services.
2) Taking a reduced payment and asking the client to leave your facilities within a week or so may be a better way of reducing your losses and also to get rid of a difficult client.
Please note that we are providing this information as our opinions only and you should obtain legal advice before pursuing any course of action.